A new Woodlands for Climate Change Award has been launched as part of the 2014 Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry Awards in association with Forestry Commission England and England’s Climate Ready Support Service led by the Environment Agency.
The award has been introduced alongside existing RFS Excellence in Forestry categories to raise awareness of, and promote the importance of, managing woods for resilience to increased threats to woodlands from pests, disease and climate change. It will reward planting that uses more diverse native and novel tree species to ensure Britain continues to produce quality timber.
The award chimes perfectly with the SilviFuture database developed in 2013 by Sylva in partnership with the RFS, Forestry Commission and Silvanus Trust. SilviFuture is a network promoting knowledge exchange in novel forest species. See SilviFuture.org.uk for more information.
The Woodlands for Climate Change Award, is free to enter and open to all woodlands throughout England where tree plantings over the past five years, both new and restocking, are creating sites that should be resilient to the predicted challenges of climate change and pests and diseases.
RFS Development Director Simon Lloyd said: “The RFS is delighted to partner with the Forestry Commission and England’s Climate Ready Support Service to run the Excellence in Forestry Woodlands for Climate Change award. Currently 80% of our timber is produced from just 10 species of broadleaf and conifer, and several of these, such as larch, Corsican pine and ash are severely threatened by disease. Many woodland owners are considering what species to plant and which silvicultural regime to adopt to better protect their woods against the risk of climate change. Encouraging owners who have been through this process in the last five years and are willing to share their experience will help all woodland owners make better informed decisions.”
There are prizes of £1,000 and £500 and entries must be received by 31 March 2014. Go to www.rfs.org.uk/involved/woodlands-for-climate-change-2014 or contact Trefor Thompson at email@example.com or call him on 01824 704230for details.